Habit Change Made Easy: Get Ready for a Not-So-Dry January
As Holly Whitaker writes in her book, Quit Like a Woman, we live in a society convinced that alcohol makes us all sexier, happier and more relaxed. We accept hangovers and low-grade depression as normal side effects of a beneficial drinking culture. To enable this belief, the past two centuries have been filled with the expansion of alcohol-inspired social events - with cocktails, wine and beer becoming the tastes and smells we’ve come to associate with special experiences. By associating these sensory experiences with pleasure, we begin to think that we might need alcohol to experience pleasure in other contexts.
But do we really? There are so many things that give us pleasure that don't involve alcohol - connection, dance, tastes, music, to name a few. James Clear suggests that it takes at least 66 days to start a new habit, meaning we must enforce our own willpower while new neural pathways are being established, making a single month–like Dry January–a true challenge without something else to fill its shoes.
With the help of a female food scientist and a shaman, I created a product that mimics some of our favorite cocktail’s properties–including the bite, smell and mood enhancement–without sugar or alcohol, making it easier to make the switch. During Dry January in 2021, I tried every non alcoholic drink out there, and I came to the conclusion that LaCroix and other sparkling waters were not going to convince me to give up my cocktails. So, after trying everything out there at the time, I decided to create a functional mocktail with a proprietary blend of adaptogens and aromatics to get as close to the cocktail experience as possible.
When you drink a Little Saints, the first thing you’ll notice are the aromatics. Since most of us associate drinking wine and other cocktails with pleasing aromatics, it was important that Little Saints mocktails also had a positive smell association. Smell is the one sense with the power to drop us immediately into our parasympathetic nervous system (i.e. rest and digest) and out of fight or flight. Because we feel relaxed when we smell wine (and now Little Saints), the smell alone keeps us coming back for more.
In addition to the aromatics, we included two powerful, neuroscience-backed adaptogens - Reishi Mushroom and CBD - to boost our serotonin levels. According to Dr. Jessica Montalvo, MD advisor to Little Saints, “what’s great about CBD and Reishi is that, once consumed together, they have the potential to nudge our cells to produce more serotonin. When you have the correct amount of serotonin produced, you feel calmer and can handle stress better.”
And it’s working. In a December 7 Instagram comment @ramseye1 “Little Saints is in my top brands of choice for mocktails. It’s been a week and I haven’t had any alcohol. Thank you so much. I’ve struggled since I can remember with drinking. I’m very proud to say it’s been a week.”
As a former heavy drinker myself, I knew that trying to replace alcohol with empty calories or water was not a sustainable switch. Most people are looking for something special and effective that does not feel like a sacrifice, and Little Saints offers just that.